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Clinical engineering, medical devices, ventilators, pandemic
Clinical Engineering professionals have a key role in healthcare institutions during the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 disease, mainly by supporting the front line by allowing the proper and timely access of the medical equipment required to diagnose and treat patients affected. But another one of their roles, probably one not so expected, has been their contributions for the development of emergency use medical devices, especially those for respiratory and oxygen therapy. By using the case of critical care use ventilators, and as presented during an IFMBE-CED webinar on the topic, this paper mentions the role of Clinical Engineers for the rapid response manufacturing of such vital care devices, in three main aspects: development, regulation and education. The results from such efforts have paid off by having safe and efficient support equipment while the shortage from commercial products have been receding, by establishing international guidelines for future innovators to take into consideration and by leaving valuable knowledge in the form of educational and training videos for future generations to consult from.